My Last Summer is about an 18 year old Taiwanese girl who works in a cafe at the airport. She sees people flying away every day and secretly wants to be one of them. She wants to fly away to Hollywood and become an actress. This is the story of her last summer in Taiwan as she works to earn enough to book her flight and go...
For a young adult book, this deals with a lot of very adult themes - namely sex, relationships, intoxicating escapism and family divides. The inexperience and naivety of our heroine is made all the more tangible by the fact that she is not a native English speaker. Her manner of speaking is very "correct", never colloquial and in doing so she grabs the reader and pulls them head first into her world to see life from her perspective. As she takes you along, see her first love and her constant battle between making herself or her family happy. Watch as she starts to learn that there are many sides to people and just as people can let you down, they also have the ability to make your life better.
Our heroine is also adorably weird. She passes the time at work by seeing how long she can remain silent and then tries to break her own record - and yet she finds her hi-fiving work pal and the boy at the book store strange...
Mermetlu's writing style is very unique and with incredibly short chapters it jumps a lot but somehow manages to flow really well. The characters have no names, simply referred to as father, brother, the girl who also wants to be an actress but only on T.V. and the boy from the bookstore. They are all identified by what they do and what relationship they have to her.
The one thing I will see is that the writing style may be difficult for some to get into. This is by no stretch a negative on the book, simply an acknowledgement that it might not be everyone's cup of tea. But if you like books that push boundaries, try new things and experiment with style then you absolutely must try this one. Plus, for those who don't have the patience for big chunky books, this is nice and short! :)
Kerem can be found on twitter and the book is available as an ebook now.
Click here to check out the interview with the author himself.